Exams Know-how

Describe a Time You Made a Promise to Someone - IELTS Cue Card

Yocket Editorial Team

Making promises is a part of everyday life, whether promising to complete a task, keep a secret, or be there for someone in need. However, we make promises in our daily lives – to complete a project, to keep a secret, or to be there when someone is in need. However, it can be challenging to answer when the IELTS speaking test requires this question. How do you create structure in your response? Which areas of your experience should be included, and, most importantly, how do you ensure that the examiner will respond positively to your speaking ability? What if you have the opportunity to narrate an anecdote or personal experience smoothly, offering evocative and detailed responses that bring the examiner to the moment when you made that promise? By incorporating these suggestions and examples, you can confidently present information that will help you score the most in this cue card and learn many abilities that can be used in other speaking test contexts. That is why we have put the Describe a Promise cue card answer’s secrets together so that you may unlock it.

Table of Contents

What is IELTS?

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. This is a proven test of English language proficiency for non-native English speakers. IELTS measures the individual’s ability to communicate in English in four critical areas: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

What is an IELTS Cue Card?

An IELTS Cue Card refers to questions in the speaking section of the IELTS exam to assess one’s ability to speak well, coherently, and confidently. Thus, in this section, you must exhibit your speech-making skills to expound on a topic or a prompt. It is a question or a statement such as a “Describe a Time You Made a Promise to Someone” cue card; you must speak about it for about 2-3 minutes. Although the cue card typically gives a brief description or a list of detailed pointers related to the subject, it is intended to be an introductory point for the candidate.

The duration of the IELTS Speaking Cue Card is as follows:

Duration of IELTS Speaking Cue Card:


Total Duration

3-4 minutes

Preparation Time

1 minute

Speaking Time

2-3 minutes

One minute is the preparation period, during which the candidate can quickly take notes to systematise their thoughts and ideas, and up to 2-3 minutes when the candidate should speak for two or three minutes straight, and the information from the cue card is provided for guidance.

Why are IELTS Cue Cards Important?

In the speaking section, candidates are given a cue card of a specified topic for 1-2 minutes of speaking. At the beginning, a candidate is awarded one minute to prepare for a reply after being handed the cue card one after one. Cue cards are used for the following reasons:

  • They give a structured prompt, prompting the candidate to know what to discuss.
  • They evaluate the candidate’s organisation of thoughts, use of relevant vocabulary, and coherence in relaying the points. 
  • Moreover, they are vital in helping the candidate manage their time during the speaking test. If a person practices with cue cards in advance, it will significantly impact their confidence and overall performance. 

In IELTS speaking, a candidate gets a cue card that contains a specific topic, an individual, a place, and an experience to describe in 2-3 minutes. They have one minute to plan the response before participating in the described speaking topic. A candidate may improve fluency, coherence, and score from appropriate cue card preparation and practice. If you need any help in your IELTS preparation, you can contact Yocket experts, who are always there to help.

Suggested: Describe A Volunteering Experience You Had - IELTS Cue Card

What Was That Promise That You Made: Sample Answer 1

  • Introduction 

Promises are powerful not because of the message but because of the feeling and commitment attached to the assurance. When making a promise, an individual must obey the word and fulfil the pledge. A breach of the promise tears into the existing trust and connection. Contrary to this, fulfilling a commitment either loses or builds, which calls for two acts: demonstrating mutual respect through creating practices. This narrative depicts honouring a promise following my commitment to my friend. 

  • To whom did you make the promise?  

I promised my best friend Rohan, who has become a part of my life journey. Rohan and I shared a friendship and a bond forged through shared experiences, laughter, and mutual support.

  • What was the promise?  

I promised Rohan that I would support his dream of becoming a runner in the city marathon. When he began taking active steps to boost his physical shape and achieve goals, he wanted someone to support and encourage him. Realising this goal was important to him, and the lesson of being in good and bad times was learned. I promised to be with my friend and practice for the marathon.

  • Why did you make the promise?  

The difficulty that Rohan was experiencing in his struggle with the rigours of the fitness regimen was evident. I was Rohan’s best friend, and I felt with him every problem he faced. Most importantly, Rohan’s ability to overcome difficulties and relentless drive to improve made me want to support him unconditionally. In other words, making the promise was a matter of loyalty and friendship, making my commitment to the idea of Rohan’s achievements known.   

  • Was the promise easy to achieve?  

Realising the promise took work. I had to balance my work and studying obligations with rigorous training, and at times, the idea of quitting came to mind. However, Rohan’s drive was always there to motivate me and reestablish my strength and confidence. We overcame the training challenges, faced numerous obstacles, and eventually reached our goal. 

  • Conclusion

 Although the promise allowed for the physical completion of a specific goal and the improved physical shape of me and Rohan, the benefits were not physical. The moment Rohan and I crossed the finish line together was when the promise manifested itself fully. It was the moment when our rejuvenated friendship reached its zenith through mutual help and trust, and it taught us the importance of promises.

What Was That Promise That You Made: Sample Answer 2

  • Introduction

Promises are, more than verbal assertions, the epiphany of commitment and empathy, and, with a dash of compassion, they have the potential to cement great love and familial essence. Addressing the following narrative, the importance of promise-keeping is discovered and explored through my early commitment to my beloved little sister. 

  • To whom did you make the promise?  

My little sister, Puja, was the one to whom this promise was delivered. Despite her overflowing personality, this sweet girl was about to face a milestone that necessitated my guidance and support. 

  • What was the promise?  

I promised to assist Puja in learning how to ride a bicycle. This idea appears simple on the surface, but the success of this activity was a significant accomplishment for my sister. I understood the task, the fear in her eyes, and the importance of this milestone in her development. 

  • Why did you make the promise?  

Because Puja was afraid to fail, and she reminded me of myself, I was inspired to make a difference in her life. I realised that her attempts to overcome her fear were heroic, and the only possible step was to go out of my way to help. It was a commitment rooted in affection and the understanding that I could make a change. 

  • Was the promise easy to achieve?  

Was the promise easy to achieve? The set goal was anything but simple to achieve. Puja’s first few tries were unsuccessful, and the numerous attempts to console and urge her were equally excruciating. Long hours went into fulfilling my pledge; having fun yet falling multiple times was a critical factor in her learning process. 

  • Conclusion

As Puja pedalled away, her joyous laughter reiterating her triumph over a minor feat, I realised the value of a kept promise anew. Our adventure was far from over, and her progression personified our shared pledge. Our bond was strengthened through the pursuit of a loving pledge, giving the foundation for several more to come.

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What Was That Promise That You Made: Sample Answer 3

  • Introduction

A promise embodies trust and integrity: a thread of woven relationships and a pillar upon which safety stands guard. The following recount highlights the importance of fulfilling promises, as a protagonist made a touching one to an elderly. 

  • To whom did you make the promise?  

I made a promise to my grandfather, Khushal Singh, who, even at his ripened age, continued to inspire his family and acquaintances with his inner beauty. Although the older adult’s health had started deteriorating, grandad still cherished an unfulfilled dream that needed to be completed before it was too late. 

  • What was the promise?  

On Grandad’s 80th birthday, I promised him to complete his lifetime dream of visiting the legendary Taj Mahal in Agra. I realised how morning prayer and bright shine would bring the last pieces of happiness in my grandfather’s life, and I decided to make it accurate as a tribute to the man that Khushal Singh was.

  • Why did you make the promise?  

As I explained earlier, Khushal Singh’s association with our family defined his very being. His sacrifices and unwavering love remained in the echelons of my memories. His face would light up when he would speak of the Taj Mahal; therefore, at the instigation of respect and gratitude, I made this promise to fulfil his dream with a smile on his withered face. 

  • Was the promise easy to achieve?  

Achieving this promise called for rigorous planning, the stack of finances, and endurance. The ability to organise my usual undertakings funds and plan for transportation, accommodation, and medical needs for my grandfather called for utilising skills in organisation and planning. However, led by the spark of fulfilling this promise to the end. My endurance spirit enabled me to beat circumstantial forces boldly. 

  • Conclusion

As I beheld Khushal Singh in tears of joy in front of the white-marbled building, I could only appreciate that keeping promises was an integral part of the human bond. Our journey was punctuated by realising what love and commitment would manage to do. This promise saw the bond stretch beyond the limits of time, for it remains renewably vivid in our memory.

What Was That Promise That You Made: Sample Answer 4

  • Introduction

Promises are not confined to grand gestures or lofty declarations but manifest in simple acts of kindness and compassion. In the following narrative, the essence of promise-keeping is exemplified through a pledge made to an elderly neighbour in need.

  • To whom did you make the promise?  

The promise was made to my elderly neighbour, Mrs Rukmini Iyer, a gentle soul whose resilience and grace had weathered the storms of life's trials. Mrs. Iyer, despite her advancing years, remained steadfast in her resolve to uphold the dignity of her humble abode.

  • What was the promise?  

To stop her travails and restore a dignified and proud appearance to her living conditions, I made a pact with Mrs Iyer to remap her dilapidated house. As I realised the importance of such an initiative in lightening her twilight nook, I made the following pact with determination.

  • Why did you make the promise?  

Mrs. Iyer’s suffering choked me up. Her tragedy inspired me to help people in need through acts of kindness. Her heart showed her quiet suffering as, with each subsequent tragedy, the family had to live in more minor and worse conditions. Therefore, my young heart was torn out of pity, and my hands acted on duty. I decided to act so that my token of duty would remain in the memory of Mrs. Iyer for many years.

  • Was the promise easy to achieve?  

This promise was a joy to fulfil and took countless hours of patience, resilience, and persistence. Whether sourcing the appropriate materials, finding workers to do the job, or navigating through numerous layers of bureaucratic red tape, the renovation was challenging at every step. However, inspired by the image of Mrs Iyer finally smiling, I went ahead with more determination and grit than before.

  • Conclusion

Standing in her tiny home, bright with newer colours, while Mrs Iyer’s eyes were full of thankfulness for how the house turned out, I felt the potential of commitment and its ability to weave the tapestry of our affairs. The typical involvement with companionship and mutual commitment between us had borne testimony to sympathy and pity’s constructive capacity. Via my dedicated adherence to Mrs Iyer’s promise, we have transcended the informalities of neighbourly courtesy, making a lasting contribution to the landscape of our society.

If you need more samples and want expert guidance in your IELTS preparation, you can contact Yocket Counsellors to ace your IELTS cue card test.

Suggested: Describe a Time You Moved to a New Home/School

Follow-up Questions and Their Answers

  1. How did you manage your time for studies/work and marathon training?

Clocking in the training hours required meticulous planning and effort. It meant cutting back some entertainment and social circles to settle for a few hours within the day, suitable without disregarding work and academics.

  1. After how many days/weeks was your sister able to ride confidently?

It took us roughly 2-3 months of practice duration to clock Puja’s confidence capable of cruising without interiorities or outside support.

  1. What do you mean by renovation procedure for neighbour's house?

Fixing the leaky roof, plastering and painting the interior/exterior walls, replacing the malfunctioned kitchen and sink, and fitting new flooring.

  1. How did the neighbourhood and community react when they learned about your promise fulfilment?

Word spread quickly, and people were very appreciative of my efforts. Some even pitched in or gave me the supplies that I needed. It pulled the community together. 

  1. How did you arrange for the contractor's workers and gather know-how for the renovation project?

Regarding contractors, workers, and know-how, I researched, talked to contractors, read up about materials, negotiated costs shrewdly, and micromanaged the work ethic. 

  1. What motivational techniques did you use to keep your sister's spirits up?

These are some of the more out-of-the-way motivational techniques I used to keep my sister’s spirits up; I would celebrate every tiny milestone reached. I also constantly complimented her efforts and promised her little rewards. Finally, I played games with her for fun.

Tips to Answer IELTS Cue Card 

  1. Understand the Task

The first step is understanding the given case fully before developing an IELTS speaking cue card response. It would help if you clarified whether the cue card asks you to explain a person, an event, or an object. Moreover, review whether any requirements are listed in the cue card.

  1. Plan Your Response 

Second, based on the task, plan your response. During the 1-minute preparation time, before speaking, consider writing a few bullet points that you can include. This step will enhance your response design and coordination.

  1. Use the Right Tense 

Depending on how your topic is presented, use the correct grammatical tense. For example, talk in the past tense if asked to describe a past event or experience. Use present tense when responding to general or hypothetical topics.

  1. Be Specific 

Another tip is to be specific. This entails providing adequate details regarding describing a person, event, or object. Outline the particular aspects of the subject, such as appearance, and cover its characters, distinctiveness, or qualities. 

  1. Use Transitional words

One critical guideline is transition; this calls for the candidate to employ transition phrases. Transitions help to ensure the ideas presented in the statement are interconnected and follow the next one. 

  1. Vary Vocabulary 

Avoid repetitive terms in the description and reveal the candidate’s range of linguistic resources. 

  1. Maintain Fluency 

The candidate may speak accurately but need help to maintain the flow. Hence, speak naturally, avoid long pauses, focus on the appropriate stress and intonation, and have adequate training and loud talk preparation beforehand.

  1. Watching Your Time

You’ll be given a set time to respond to the cue card during the IELTS speaking test. You must complete your response within the allotted time. If you think you’re out of time, briefly summarise your points and end your response. 

  1. Address Any Follow-Up Questions

After completing your first response, the examiner may ask questions that need further clarification or are still related to the cue card topic. Listen to the questions and provide relevant, clear, soundly reasoned answers. You must use the opportunity to demonstrate your English-speaking abilities. 

  1. Stay Calm and Confident

Most importantly, remain calm and confident while responding to the cue card. Take a deep breath, sit up straight, and speak cohesively and persuasively. Remember that the examiner assesses your language skills and how composed and practical you are in communication.

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Mastering the “Describe a Time You Made a Promise to Someone” cue card topic is essential for your successful performance in the IELTS speaking test and is highly useful for different areas of life. Articulating one's experiences, capturing emotions, and painting a visual picture in the audience’s mind is rich human communication that can make a vivid impression on others. You have already studied this guide's tips, strategies, and sample answers, and you are prepared and confident enough to manage this cue card topic. Just remember, the main thing is to find the balance between the relevance of the necessary details and the structured organisation of the response. You do not need to look elsewhere if you need money to fund your IELTS education. You can check out Yocket Finance for an education loan for your IELTS preparation.

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FAQ's on Describe a Time you Made a Promise to Someone- IELTS Cue Card

What is the purpose of this cue card topic?

How should I organise this answer?

What type of information can I include?

How do I ensure my response is well-organised?

Can I talk about a promise I was unable to keep?

How much does the examiner value vocabulary associated with this cue card topic?

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